Birthday cake!

Our daughter just turned 12 and one of the things she asked for was to have family for lunch. How lucky are we?  Oh and cake of course.  🙂

As her favourite colour is purple I knew I had to use that colour.  A month or so ago I found some purple sugar and white sugar pearls.  I wanted to do a kid cake that was elegant given her age.  That was as far as I got until the morning of the day everyone was coming.  Talk about a decorating block!  I just couldn’t think of anything.  Fortunately on the walk with the dogs I got an idea.  And it had to be done quickly as I had an hour to do this.  Yikes!

Not only does she like purple, she likes butterflies so I decided to go with that.  I whipped up some buttercream icing like I did for these cupcakes.  Before I added the purple I scooped some white into a decorating bag.

Chocolate Birthday cake 1 2013

I put a ring of frosting to hold in the filling around the first layer of the cake.  My blueberry jam was requested but turns out we had nothing left!  Time to make more.  So I used my apple jam.  Which my son loved so I’ll have to do that for his cake.  🙂

Chocolate Birthday cake 2 2013

Carefully place the top layer on and brush any loose crumbs off.

Chocolate Birthday cake 3 2013

Ice the whole cake smoothing as best you can.  Isn’t this a great purple?

Chocolate Birthday cake 4 2013

Next I used the white frosting to outline the flowers and butterfly.  Finally I got the consistency right and it flowed like it should.  In the past I was squeezing with all my might.  Too much work.   I used the white pearls for the centers and the purple sugar for the petals and wings.  I really need to problem solve getting the sugar where I want it to go.  There was a bit of colouring outside the lines with this bit.

Chocolate Birthday cake 6 2013

To finish it off I added some icing dots on the sides.

Chocolate Birthday cake 5 2013

She really enjoyed so I was pleased.  🙂

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Chocolate cupcakes

My son was having his first ever sleepover so I wanted to make it special.  I decided to surprise him with chocolate cupcakes.  I’ll post tomorrow the decoration part of it.  The recipe I used this time was Basic Chocolate Cake from the Pillsbury Complete Book of Baking.  This book is getting worn out!  It is falling apart at the seams.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

The recipe calls for 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate to be melted.  Now I use whatever we have on hand.  This time I had chocolate chips.  In the past I’ve used Belgium chocolate.  Which is outstanding!

I melt my chocolate in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time until melted.  It is important to stir each time to keep the heat even.  Otherwise you risk burning the chocolate.  Smoking hot is not a good thing here.

In the mixing bowl add 1/2 cup butter softened and 1 1/2 cups sugar.

Mix until creamed and blended.

Next add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix well.

At this point the chocolate should be melted.

Add to the mixture and blend well.

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients.  2 cups of flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons of bake soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  At this point you will also need 1 cup milk.  This need to be mixed into the chocolate mixture a bit at a time alternating between the flour mixture and the milk.  Mix after each addition.

Couldn’t resist an action shot.  🙂

If you are just doing straight cakes then grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.  As I was doing cupcakes I set up 12 cupcakes and one cake pan.  For some reason there was a battle between myself and the cupcake paper cups.  It was a massive struggle for me to get the batter in.  I won in the end.  But geez.

Bake for 27 to 35 minutes.  You want the toothpick to come out clean.  Then let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  I froze the cake for another time and set aside the cupcakes for decoration.

Decoration will be shown next time.  🙂